The mountain lion is one of the few predators in North America that could stand up to a bear, but that doesn’t mean it necessarily wants to. This YouTube video taken by MontanaWildOutdoors shows a typical encounter between a cougar and what appears to be a cinnamon-phase black bear. At first, the two predators simply stared at each other from a distance. The mountain lion even laid down—but it did so with the perfect vantage point to keep an eye on the bear. As for the bear, it clearly shows an interest in the cat and begins moving in its direction, at one point even running down an incline towards it.
It is hard to say who would have the advantage if it came to blows, but for wildlife, a fight between different species is usually a lose-lose scenario. The mountain lion wisely decides that it should find another resting spot, and flees. It is relatively rare for these kinds of encounters to be caught on video, but it offers us an unique glimpse of how these creatures interact with each other. Despite a different set of instincts and behaviors, predators still have to learn to get along in the wild—or sometimes, not so much.